I have an interest in Pinterest – the newest social networking site that lets you ‘pin’ pictures from across the Internet onto virtual ‘boards’ in a way that other photo sharing sites like Tumblr, Flickr and even Instagram simply could not imagine in their wildest photographic dreams. In their defence though, those sites are designed for sharing personal photographs, taken by the user and uploaded for whatever reason, whereas the goals of Pinterest are rather different.
So called ‘pinners’ use Pinterest for two main reasons. The first being to present themselves, their interests and hobbies, likes and dislikes to the world in a way that is organised, categorised and clear. Users can gain followers of their boards, just like followers on Twitter, and follow other people so that there’s always a new set of images on the home page that anyone can ‘repin’, ‘like’, and comment on. Pins can be fetched from anywhere on the Internet though, not just from the site itself, by simply installing the ‘Pin It!’ button to your toolbar.
See that nice dress you found online? Pin it to your fashion board for your followers to see, get repins from it and share your tastes with the world. Perhaps you’ve found a funny image somewhere on the Internet and you want a friend to see it. Simply pin the picture and tag their username in the description. It’s all about sharing what you love with people who love the same things!
The second main reason for creating an account on Pinterest is for the purpose of self management. This is for the really organised folk. There are countless wedding boards comprising of dress ideas, cake designs, DIY invitation tutorials and the like floating around on Pinterest, as well as boards acting as the most comprehensive cookbook you’ve ever owned – with every favourite recipe of yours held in one place. Every picture cleverly links back to it’s original source too, so you can click on pins to see the website they came from, which is handy when you see a pair of shoes you fancy or a DIY project you’d like to have a go at.
You may well be asking at this point whether you really need yet another social networking site in your life, to share details about yourself with people you don’t know. And the simple answer to that, coming from an avid pinner, is yes. Yes you most certainly do.
Pinterest is more personal than any other social media I’m a part of. I find myself pinning photos I am interested in, that would add to my virtual closet, or my collection of ideal holiday destinations, or my dream home. I pin to add to my own collections, not for followers or likes, and any repins I get or anyone who does decide to follow me is just a bonus – it shows a mutual interest between people, and really connects strangers in a natural way. (Unlike that random add you’ll get on Facebook sometimes from a no-mutual-friends foreigner.)
I have somewhat begrudgingly shared this corner of the Internet with readers of SQ as it’s just one of those special, rare things you’d like to keep all for yourself, but Pinterest deserves some recognition, and so I have shared it with you today.
Just don’t tell anyone else, okay?